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Concert Clips for Charity Cause Copyright Crisis
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2005
Plaintiffs Film Distributor(s)
Defendants Charitable Organization(s)
Other Piatigorsky, Gregor
Pons, Lily
Stokowski, Leopold
Short Description Defendant was a charitable foundation that assembled and aired programs on classical music, called "Classic Arts Showcase," which is comprised of video clips donated to Defendant to be included in the show. In this case, Defendant received and aired two clips, one of mid-20th century classical celebrity conductor, Leopold Stokowski, and the other of operatic singer Lily Pons. Each was given to Defendant by a different source, though the clips originated in a movie, "Carnegie Hall," to which Plaintiff was the exclusive copyright licensee. Thus, Plaintiff sued for copyright infringement, because Defendant never received Plaintiff's permission to use the footage. Infringement claims based on the Stokowski clips were dismissed on summary judgment, due to a previous settlement between the parties, signed after a similar dispute regarding clips of Gregor Piatigorsky, which the court interpreted to release Defendant from all claims the potentially existed at the time of the agreement. The Stokowski infringements occurred before the release was signed, and were thus covered by the release. Regarding the Lily Pons clips, Defendant argued its use was a "fair use" according to the First Amendment. Though the court found that two of the four fair use factors favored Defendant--e.g., the use was noncommercial and the amount of Plaintiff's movie used by Defendant was minimal--the remaining factors favored Plaintiff: Defendant's show was a creative work that would adversely impact the value of Plaintiff's market for licensing its clips. Summary judgment granted in Defendant's favor on the Stokowski clip, but in Plaintiff's favor on the Pons bit. - LSW

Legal Issues
Constitutional Law First Amendment Fair Use, Parody & Artistic Protection
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
    Sampling & Distribution/Dissemination
General Affirmative Defenses Release of Liability


Opinions Video-Cinema Films, Inc. v. Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation
78 U.S.P.Q.2d 1538 / 2005 WL 2875327
S.D. New York , November 02, 2005 ( No. 04 Civ. 5332(NRB) )


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Related Searches Parties
Charitable Organization(s) ( Defendant )
Film Distributor(s) ( Plaintiff )
Piatigorsky, Gregor ( Other )
Pons, Lily ( Other )
Stokowski, Leopold ( Other )

Legal Issues
Constitutional Law / First Amendment / Fair Use, Parody & Artistic Protection
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Infringement / Sampling & Distribution/Dissemination
General / Affirmative Defenses / Release of Liability

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)


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